Author Archives: Damien Kingsbury

About Damien Kingsbury

Doing right by East Timor should be bipartisan policy

The Timor Sea issue is back on the national agenda following the announcement on Wednesday by shadow foreign minister Tanya Plibersek that Labor will, in government, scrap the existing Timor Sea Treaty. She said that Labor would enter into new negotiations on a permanent boundary between Australia and East Timor and, if a negotiated settlement […]

The horrors of Madaya are far from over

As aid convoys entered the besieged Syrian city of Madaya, the horrors of “walking skeletons” earned the Assad regime further, justified international condemnation. This follows its direct attacks against civilians, the use of chemical weapons, and the indiscriminate use of barrel bombs. The atrocities of Islamic State and the less visible war crimes of the […]

North Korea bomb test: Kim Jong-Un is riding a tiger he dares not dismount

North Korea’s claimed success in testing a hydrogen bomb – a thermonuclear weapon significantly more powerful than an atomic bomb – has set the world on edge. Any testing of a nuclear weapon by a non-signatory to the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty, especially a rogue state such as North Korea, is cause for concern. That […]

How the downing of a Russian warplane will change the Syrian conflict

It was almost inevitable that, in a geographically small, complex and multi-layered conflict, that once the aircraft from different nations starting flying combat missions in close proximity there would be problems. The question now is, with two Turkish F-16 aircraft having shot down a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 in the Turkey-Syria border region, where will this […]

Paris attacks: What Islamic State is trying to achieve

Last Friday night’s horrific attacks in Paris have, yet again, pushed the panic buttons of much the Western media and the political leaders of Western countries. If Islamist extremists can strike at will at the heart of Paris then, it seems, none of us are safe. And, of course, we all sympathise deeply with the […]

Myanmar’s elections: generally free but constitutionally unfair

The Australian delegation to Myanmar’s general elections is pleased to announce that, despite extensive minor irregularities and some pre-election intimidation and political violence, the electoral process has proceeded in a generally free manner and its results are a legitimate expression of the will of its people. Votes were cast across most parts of the country […]

Myanmar’s critical but uneven elections

This Sunday, Myanmar (otherwise known as Burma) will go to the polls in what will be its most critical political test for a generation. The last time Myanmar went to the polls, in 1990, the overwhelming vote in favor of the pro-reform National League for Democracy (NLD) was ignored by the military regime, which then […]

How we can honour the ‘Balibo Five’ 40 years on

On 16 October 40 years ago, a team of Indonesian soldiers murdered five Australian-based journalists in the village of Balibo in what is now Timor-Leste. Those journalists were Greg Shackleton, Malcolm Rennie, Brian Peters, Gary Cunningham and Tony Stewart. About seven weeks later, Indonesian soldiers murdered Australian journalist Roger East, along with hundreds of others, […]

Time running out to avoid Western Sahara war

The world has many almost forgotten trouble spots, places where conflict has not been resolved but appears to have been contained. In one such place, Western Sahara and Morocco, that may be about to change with potentially wider implications. The western-most corner of Algeria, near the border with Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania, is a […]

Syrian air strikes: Russia demonstrates its strategic superiority

When it comes to international politics, the United States might still be the world’s greatest power, but Russia’s intervention in Syria has proven yet again that it is more accomplished at strategic manoeuvring. Russian war planes are now bombing anti-Assad regime targets in Syria. But unlike the US, they are doing so at Syria’s official […]